For me audio is better with technical information because I absorb it better.
Learning about how PE teachers are transforming students in schools!
It made me put more emphasis on exercise and implementing it permanently in my life.
Highly recommend for anyone interested in bettering their health.
Impactful and inspiring - if you want to get motivated to be with people and exercise this is the book for you!
The actual chemistry of the brain and how exercise affects it.
WHAT IS THIS BOOK'S FOCUS?
Psychology, neurology, physiology, exercise, aging, human performance
DID THIS BOOK CHANGE THE WAY I VIEW THE WORLD?
Definitely. I recently read Born to Run and had already gone through Brain Rules, but this book takes understanding the brain to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL. Also, it times perfectly with my push for more exercise despite having less time.
Okay, okay. Exercise is good. Everyone knows it - what more is there to say? Well, if you ask Dr. John Ratey, quite a bit more! A clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and author or co-author of eight books on brain functioning, Ratey is pretty enthusiastic. I don’t know a lot of psychiatrists, but that alone seems worth investigating.
As it turns out, exercise is one of the best things you can do for your brain. Forget doing sudoku or crossword puzzles to help prevent Alzheimers (which recent studies have shown don’t really help anyway), try yoga or skiing! Feeling blue? Maybe even depressed? You’re in luck! More than just a “runner’s high”, the dopamine response with which some exercise enthusiasts are familiar is just the tip of the iceberg.
About halfway through the book I was excited because, hey, I had a pretty good list going of everything I could get just from one exercise session. Then I lost track. Seriously - there are THAT MANY BENEFITS. Granted, a lot of the studies referenced can’t specifically lay out the causal role of exercise vice mere correlation, but there is strong enough evidence (or common sense) to provide entire chapters on how exercise affects the brain not just in learning (fascinating), aging (good to know), but also depression, ADHD, postpartum depression (wives, anyone?) and the list goes on.
Whether you’re interested in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, aka “Miracle-Gro”) or just looking to boost your motivation for getting out on a daily AM run (*cough* me *cough*), Spark is jam-packed with case studies (the Naperville one is fascinating) and recommendations for how to use exercise to improve your mood, learning, retention and counter the deterioration commonly associated with aging.
The book is both fascinating and fantastic. There is an associated website for Sparking Life and apparently Ratey just wrote a new book called Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind from the Afflictions of Civilization. I’ll be checking it out soon - and you have some catching up (and exercise) to do!
The author presents mountains of evidence. It is very motivating and extremely informative and not boring as you would expect.
The first chapter about the school, was a nice setup for the rest of the book.
The last paragraph of the book. Not the ultimate ending but memorable.
No, too much for one sitting.
I would knock off one star because:
The author had some theories about the why the body acts as it does that was a bit "out there". Also, this book is not geared for those who cannot physically perform moderate exercise. Better if you're a dedicated athlete, otherwise "sorry about your luck".
But otherwise I would give 6 stars if possible!! The best audio book I've heard!
I find about 30% of this book pretty boring (mostly the parts with chemical and brain part names), 30% fascinating (the case studies/stories), and 30% okay. It does a great job of listing out hundreds of reasons why you should exercise for your brain's sake, especially if you have any family or personal history of depression, ADD, Alzheimer's, etc. If I were to pull out the actionable highlights, they'd be:
- Get a heart rate monitor (I bought a Polar ET4 after listening)
- Multiply your weight by 8 and try to burn at least that many calories a week according to your heart monitor to get the best brain effects.
- Shoot for six workouts a week.
- Walking's fine. High intensity's better, but walking gets you a lot of the benefit.
- Take Omega 3 Fish Oil.
It's worth listening to at least once to hear the stories. Tough it out through the science, the suggestions are gold.
Great Book to motivate you about doing exercises and the benefits for the Body and Brian. Sometimes it's little bit to technical for me. But overall I will give it 8 out of 10.
amazing for what exercising do for depressed people.
Great book, if you wish to know more about the scientific impact of exercises it's a great listening. Gives good examples and shows it's importance.
By clarifying how exercise affects the brain, this book has made me look at exercising in a different and far more motivated way.
Would especially recommend to anybody who has children or is engaged in education.
What I appreciated about this book was how Dr. John Ratey covered numerous areas on how exercise benefits the brain and paired the ideas with studies I had not been aware of. I did not know about the school district in Illinois that said yes to an exercise program that had such great results, their students were performing top in the world in academics. He covers exercise benefits in areas of aging, ADHD, depression, anxiety, pregnancy and post-pardum depression. My exercise now is more focused on the many benefits and since listening to the book, I now do 15 minutes of high intensity aerobics to create for myself energy and focus for my evening work I must get done after my exhausting 8hr job. It works like a charm. Thank you Dr. Ratey. I recommend this book highly to all, especially parents, those 50 and older, women who are pregnant or going through menopause, those who want to lengthen the life of their brain's vitality… so that is just about everybody.
Great job Walter Dixon in your narration. I imagined this info as YOURS. You made a huge difference in the experience of listening.
Must read, amazing!
I would have liked to listen to this all in one day or two but I listened in between commutes and had to deal with distractions. However I still got quite a bit out of it and am getting ready to listen to it for a second time. This book actually inspired me to go buy an Xbox 360 and some dance games too!